Speech: HS Rules Changes

2022-2023 #

  1. New provision for entire-school virtual participation specified in rule §3.6 (High School Speech Handbook, p. 3).
  2. Extemporaneous Speech will allow Internet access during preparation time; Radio rules made parallel; see rules (High School Speech Handbook, p. 17, 41); see festival preparation checklist (High School Speech Handbook, p. 72-73).
  3. Play Acting rule 5 clarified pertaining allowance for actors to touch (different from Group Interpretive Reading).
  4. Allowance for speaker/reading stands moved from individual category rules to overarching rule §6.3 (High School Speech Handbook, p. 5), since usage is rare.
  5. (Jan. 18, 2023) State Festival youth protection policies added (High School Speech Handbook §2.3, p. 3); and entry limitations updated (High School Speech Handbook §4.2, p. 3) to allow for additional virtual entries, as long as in-person subdistrict and district entries fall within limitations enumerated.

2021-2022 #

  1. Please see complete COVID-19/Public Health Protocols, in force for all WHSFA contest series events.
  2. We have returned to requiring two adjudicators’ scores to advance to the next contest level.
  3. Rule added to Demonstration to allow contestants to arrange volunteers from the audience before a round starts, but to be prepared to present without a volunteer.
  4. Printed works cited list no longer required in Informative, Moments in History, Oratory, and Public Address.
  5. Storytelling topics permanently reduced to three per year.
  6. All performance of literature category rules explicitly revised to allow teasers; Group Interpretive Reading rules clarified to allow transitionless performance, consistent with Farrago, Poetry, and Prose.
  7. Solo Acting Humorous and Solo Acting Serious are officially separated, with allowance for up to six (6) entries between the two. Rule 9.b. [p. 6].
  8. Contests may offer digital Radio News Reporting packets (provided by the State Office) and contestants may edit and read from a digital device. Contests must still provide enough printed radio packets for each contestant. Learn more >>
  9. Other changes to facilitate virtual contests for schools who need it (see High School Speech Handbook, p. 5-6)
  10. Anytime a school participates at more than one venue (including online) during a particular contest level (subdistrict, district, State), it must provide adjudicators for each contest, in that contest’s ratio of adjudicators to entries (e.g., a school has 7 entries at its own subdistrict and 2 entries at a different subdistrict – it must supply two adjudicators for its own subdistrict and one adjudicator for the other subdistrict).
  11. Added clarification to Demonstration rules pertaining to uniform/clothing.
  12. Added clarification to original speech categories on mode of delivery to be consistent with Rule 12.b. [p. 8]: The speech may be presented from memory or extemporaneously; students should not recite from a word-for-word manuscript.
  13. (11/15/2021). Updated Impromptu rules [p. 25] to elaborate on process removed for the 2021 virtual season. Added clarification to Extemporaneous [p. 19] and Radio [p. 41]: Students are welcome to remain in the room to hear other contestants; they may ask to be excused when they must report to draw for a subsequent round.

2020-2021 #

  1. Special dispensations for the 2020 virtual season:
    1. Subdistrict and district will be statewide contests, with prerecorded video submissions to be asynchronously adjudicated; Extemporaneous, Impromptu, and Radio News will offer both asynchronous options and live/synchronous options.
    2. For virtual participation, coaches should avoid identifying their school in submitted videos/video channels.
    3. Group entries may be recordings of videoconference (such as Zoom) or recorded in-person with students socially distanced, not touching, and wearing masks. Limiting groups to 2-3 students is encouraged.
    4. Storytelling contestants will record and submit three performances for each festival, and each will be matched to a particular round for adjudication.
    5. Only one adjudicator qualifying score (instead of two) is required to move on to the next festival level.
    6. There will be no individual category, nor overall team entry limits; for school awards at the State Speech Festival, a school’s top four entries per category, up to 25 entries overall, will count.
    7. The State Speech Festival will have both live/synchronous and prerecorded/synchronous participation options.
  2. Rule added to Demonstration to allow contestants to arrange volunteers from the audience before a round starts, but to be prepared to present without a volunteer (this will not take effect until return to in-person contests) [p. 25].
  3. In Informative, Moments in History, Oratory, and Public Address, clarification has been added to prohibit adjudicators from deducting points for incorrect format of citations.
  4. Rules for Poetry and Prose adapted to allow transitionless programs in the same manner as Farrago.

2019-2020 #

  1. The qualifying score from district to State is now 21 (previously 20).
  2. Schools are allowed up to 30 entries per school. Specific category limits are unchanged. The 25 highest performing entries at the State Festival will count toward the Excellence in Speech Awards, and a new Distinction in Speech Award is added for schools in the top 6-10% of performing schools.
  3. Clarified rule for works cited in Informative Speech, Moments in History Speech, Oratory Speech, and Public Address Speech: The contestant must hand a printed list of works cited in MLA or APA format to the adjudicator prior to speaking; adjudicators will return the list to the contestants by the end of the round. When no list is provided by the contestant, the adjudicator will deduct two points; the list should support what the student orally cites in the speech, but adjudicators should only evaluate actual spoken citations.
  4. Clarified in Group Interpretive Reading, Poetry Reading, and Prose Reading that intellectual experience means “what is happening,” and emotional experience means “how it feels.”

2018-2019 #

  1. Change Four-Minute to Informative Speech with a 6-minute time limit and allow for visual aids.
  2. Require a printed works cited list to be handed to each adjudicator by contestants in Informative, Moments in History, Oratory, and Public Address. For students who do not provide such a list, adjudicators must deduct two points. Students must still cite sources contextually during their speech.
  3. Specify rule with costuming for Group Interpretive Reading and Play Acting: “merely dressing alike or coordinated outfits is not considered costuming.”
  4. Revise rules for Impromptu to better reflect procedure of the round, and that students should remain in the contest room each round for the entire round.
  5. Clarify role of Referee Committee at the State Festival.
  6. Refine rules for substitution (Handbook, #3.c./d. – p. 5) and changing material during the season (#12.a.iv. p. 7).
  7. Add rule 7.c. regarding remediation for ineffective adjudicators (Handbook, p. 6).
  8. Explain for festival hosts/managers Extemporaneous draw procedures, as well as Impromptu protocols: “Before the Festival,” Handbook, #5.a./b./c., p.18-19.
  9. Essays in the back of the handbook were replaced with new versions for Demonstration Speech, Extemporaneous Speech, Group Interpretive Reading, Radio News Announcing, and Storytelling.

2017-2018 #

  1. Farrago allows (optionally) for transitionless programs of interwoven material.
  2. Group Interpretive Reading rules clarify the prohibition of dramatic literature: play for theatre, screen, or radio.
  3. Impromptu Speech has been added as a permanent category, with hypothetical questions added as a type of prompt.
  4. Moments in History Speech allows for choosing one of two topics, or speaking on both.
  5. Play Acting rules require material from one work of drama (play for theatre, screen, or radio).
  6. Radio Speaking has been renamed to Radio News Reporting to more accurately reflect the category and reference News Reporting at the middle level; added a table to show point deductions for time.
  7. Storytelling rules clarify that contestants should use language and imagery appropriate to the story and intended audience – as named in the introduction.
  8. Students in the following speaking categories – Four Minute, Moments in History, Oratory, and Public Address – are encouraged to provide a list of works cited to furnish to adjudicators or a contest referee committee when requested. See p. 7, rule 11.a.iii.
  9. For interpretive and acting categories, rules were clarified to require coaches to have a copy of source material, and not (just) contestants [this allows a referee committee to more thoroughly investigate possible rules violations and potential disqualifications. This rule extends to Poetry Reading and Prose Reading. See p. 7, rule 11.a.ii.
  10. Standards for the Excellence in Speech Award have been included in this handbook. Also clarified prohibition against other awards at subdistrict/district festivals. See p. 7, rule 10.